What Are Google Ads in Gmail?

January 8, 2023

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It’s quite frustrating, isn’t it? The world is at your fingertips, yet connecting with your audience is becoming increasingly difficult. Reports show that the number of internet users that will install ad blockers will increase steadily. And, that’s not all. Aware of the money influencers get paid to promote certain products or services, consumers are losing their trust in social media advertising too.

So, what can you do to connect with potential customers and get them interested in your brand?

Email marketing might be the solution.

Recent reports show that email marketing generates $38 for each $1 spent. That’s an astonishing number and one of the few that point to the effectiveness of this medium.

But, here’s the problem: people are just now getting familiar with your brand. As a result, you don’t have tons of subscribers lined up ready to receive your messages. So, how can you leverage the potential of email marketing without buying hundreds of email addresses?

Two words: Gmail ads

Google Ads in Gmail: What Are Those?

As the name suggests, Gmail ads are sponsored messages that appear at the top of the Gmail inbox. Similar to other Google ads, they feature a small tag that lets users know that the message is sponsored. But, besides the tiny “Ad” sign, they are similar to the regular emails users receive. Once they click on it, the messages open and will look like an actual email, giving advertisers plenty of room for personalization and customization.

Wait, How Does Google Know Who to Target?

That’s a great question. When it comes to Google ads, the search engine giant relies on keywords to determine when to display ads. They used keyword targeting for Gmail ads too until they realized that it’s not a very ethical practice. Now, Google looks at a person’s clicking habits, interest, intent, and collects data from its other services, such as YouTube to help businesses find potential customers.

Do They Really Work?

Google has one clear advantage over other advertising channels. Whether we are talking about ads in the display network or those featured in the promotion tab in Gmail, users exploring these areas have a clear intent to buy. Unlike social media, for instance, where you have to get prospects interested in your offer and convince them that they have a problem that they need to solve, the prospects on Google are already aware of their problem and possible solutions and are just looking for the best one. It’s up to you then to convince them that your brand is the answer.

Another great thing about Gmail ads is that they allow increasing levels of interactions. Users can click through the email, save it, forward it or take no action at all.

How Do I Create Gmail Ads

The setup process is quite easy and it involves a few, quick steps. Go to your Google Ads account and click on Campaigns. Click on the “+” button and select a goal, such as driving traffic to a landing page or generating leads. Choose Gmail Campaign from the Display Campaign menu.

Next, it’s time to get creative and start crafting messages that will make your audience want to take action.

Tell Me about Custom HTML Ads

Digital advertising can be quite restrictive. And, it’s a bit difficult to get creative when you have to stay under certain parameters. Gmail ads allow you to customize your messages fully. You can treat your ad as a landing page and add photos, videos, testimonials, click to call buttons, and whatever element you think that could boost your click-through rate.

Before you get overly excited, there are certain rules that you need to follow. For example, you must compress your files and ensure that their size doesn’t exceed 1.25 MB.

Targeting Options: What You Need to Know

Google differentiates between three targeting options:

  • Affinity Audiences

It looks at their habits and interests. For example, if you are a realtor, you could target prospects that have recently looked for “apartment for rent in Sydney.” If you are unable to find a preset selection that is relevant to your ad campaign, then you can use custom affinity audiences to get a customer match. This option will enable you to target prospects that have searched for a keyword related to your custom affinity for example.

  • Intent

It looks at what your audience is interested in and researching. Moreover, Google makes it possible for you to target prospects who are actively looking for a product or service. You will have to perform a bit of research too and look at your data in Ads and Google Analytics to see how your audience is behaving and what your next step should be.

  • Remarketing

It looks for prospects that have a similar interest with the audience target that you set up for your campaign. You can target people who have visited your landing page, app or YouTube users, and so on. You can also target prospects based on demographic factors, such as their age, location, education, income, and so on.


Don’t fall into the trap of automated targeting. While Google has done a pretty decent job at automating their targeting options, you need a hands-on approach if you want to get stellar results. We know that can be a challenge. But, you can always count on the great team here at Australian Internet Advertising. We dream, eat and breathe Google advertising, and we are always up for a challenge.

Get in touch with us and we will help you get started with Google Adwords for Gmail. Write to us if you have any questions or if you want to tell us about your experience with digital advertising.

Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

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